Gerry van der Meer Named Commissioner of Kentucky State Parks
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Commerce Secretary Marcheta Sparrow announced today that hotel management veteran Gerry van der Meer will serve as the commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Parks.
The new commissioner most recently served as general manager of the Crowne Plaza Campbell House Inn in Lexington and was also general manager of the Hilton Suites of Lexington Green. Before coming to Lexington in 1991, he worked in management positions for hotels in Colorado and Massachusetts during his 35-year career in the hospitality industry.
Van der Meer has been active in several civic organizations in Lexington, including the United Way and Rotary, and is chairman of the board for the YMCA of Central Kentucky. He received the Garner B. Hamson Hotelier of the Year Award in 2003 from the Kentucky Hotel Lodging Association.
“The Kentucky State Parks expose us to the wonders of the outdoors,” van der Meer said. “I really believe they are treasures in our own backyard.”
Sparrow said she was honored that van der Meer agreed to become parks commissioner. “He is a consummate professional and highly respected by Kentucky’s hospitality industry. We are extremely fortunate to have him as part of our team,” she said.
The Kentucky State Park system in made up of 52 parks and historic sites and include 17 state resort parks.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov